Kate Liston-Mills has never shied away from asking the big questions to try to make sense of the world.
So it comes as no surprise that the Pambula writer's latest collection of short stories covers some big topics.
Dear Ibis is a follow-up to her 2016 release The Waterfowl Are Drunk, but she said "they are a bit darker, a bit deeper" this time around.
"I wanted to write something very personal, but very relevant to our times," Ms Liston-Mills told ACM this week.
"I wanted to interrogate the darker spaces of the heart - greed, fear, ego, love - love is in there, and motherhood.
"And grief is a big one.
"Our social group from Eden High - we've lost a lot of people, at least one a year. Suicide, car accidents, surfing accidents. That grief catches up with you."
Ms Liston-Mills said she was "very angry" when she began writing what would eventually become Dear Ibis, but that she feels like the process helped her process a lot of those emotions.
"I was angry when I started and relieved when I finished. Angry at the state of the world, and really angry about people's apathy and disengagement from what's going on around us.
"How did we get to here?"
Ms Liston-Mills said an overarching theme connecting her stories is one of seeking answers to life's problems.
"I guess you could say I was a late developer. A lot of things in the world confuse me.
"So I am always seeking out a lot of people and always asking lots of questions.
"Then to put them into the conventions of a short story I can begin to make sense of them and work through the sticking points."
Birds again feature prominently in Ms Liston-Mills' work.
"I've always loved birds. And they are all through it as I look at different ways of connecting with them, in a literary sense, metaphorically, surrealist ways.
They are also there in the background creating a soundtrack. If there's no mention of birds it means I'm not listening."
Ms Liston-Mills said her readers might be challenged by some of the topics covered in Dear Ibis, and she wondered if she was ready for her local community to explore her own darker aspects in this "vulnerable collection".
"[But] I feel very proud of this collection, I worked so hard on it - while also dealing with babies and natural disasters!"
Dear Ibis is being launched this Saturday, June 5, 3-5pm, at Longstocking Brewery Pambula, accompanied by live music "and lots of love".
Collins Bookstore Merimbula will be on hand selling copies of the book.
A more in-depth "conversation" event is being planned for late July.